Cancer Patients’ Extreme Makeovers Let Them To Forget Their Illness ‘If Only For A Second’

The season of giving can be an unseemly time for nonprofits. As New Year’s approaches, every charitable institution down in Charitable Institutionville must bang its tar-tinker and blow its hoo-hoover, in hope of donations.

No doubt they’re all deserving, but the onslaught of requests can leave supporters feeling a bit Grinchy. When that happens, I recommend the video above, which documents a hoax of Borat-like proportions. The perpetrator is the Mimi Foundation, a Belgium-based group that offers psychological counseling, beauty treatments, and hairstyle tips to people with cancer.

The unsuspecting victims? Twenty cancer patients who took it on good faith that they were being treated to standard makeovers, the sort of professional artistry that creates an illusion of health, what many think passes for normalcy. All the Mimi Foundation asked for in return was that the recipients keep their eyes closed as the magic was being worked.

Meanwhile, photographer Vincent Dixon crouched behind a one-way mirror, poised to capture each sitters’ reaction to his or her transformation.

One doesn’t want to say too much. The end results are not what you think, unless you were thinking of one of those over-the-top bizarre America’s Next Top Model photo challenges.

Dixon’s images record the shock and involuntary spontaneity. The video, called “If Only for a Second, shows those initial responses blossoming into …well, let’s just say the Mimi Foundation, assisted by a phalanx of stylists, achieved their goal.

H/T Alan Goldwasser

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Ayun Halliday‘s heart grew three sizes today. Follow her @AyunHallliday



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